Category Archives: Animal Store News

Big Savings this Weekend

There are all kinds of big savings going on this weekend at The Animal Store. Here are just of few of the deals. Sale ends 5:00 p.m. Sunday, December 11.

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Fall is for Ferret

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OK, we’re about a week early (fall officially starts Tuesday, September 22), but we’re really excited about ferrets. So excited, in fact, that for every ferret we sell between now and October 8, The Animal Store will donate $25 to the Greater Chicago Ferret Association.

On October 8, the Greater Chicago Ferret Association is sponsoring the Greatest Ferret Show on Earth. Held at the Kane County Fair Grounds (525 S. Randall Road, St. Charles), tickets are $7 for adults, $3 for children 12 and under, and $14 for the family. Proceeds go to the Greater Chicago Ferret Association’s no-kill shelter. Look for one of our favorite vets from Chicago Exotics Animal Hospital, who will be giving a speech about heart disease in ferrets in the late afternoon.

For every ferret we sell between now and October 8, The Animal Store will donate $25 to the Greater Chicago Ferret Association

Speaking of our favorite vets, here they are to offer answers to some of your most frequently asked ferret questions.

Ask the Vet … about ferrets

Q: What does a first time owner need to know about ferrets?

A: Ferrets are true carnivores. This means they need meat-based protein, such as Marshall ferret kibble or even whole prey. The majority of pet ferrets (including those at The Animal Store) come from a place called Marshall farms. These ferrets have already been spayed or neutered, and are de-scented (which means the glands that produce strong smells have been removed). Ferrets typically live 7-9 years, and both females and males reach maturity between 8-12 months.

Ferrets are very friendly and active, playing often, but they also love to sleep on and off throughout the day. Like cats, ferrets can be litter-box trained fairly easily. Simply keep the litter box tidy and empty it daily. If your ferret is not using the litter box, pick up the feces and place them in the litter box. This helps ferrets understand the idea of where to defecate. Be sure to empty the box at the end of every day.

Young ferrets are commonly rascals, getting into things or trying to eat things they should not, so always be aware of where your ferret is and what he or she is doing. Ferrets can get a gut upset that causes soft, slimy stool and is a serious illness. If you notice this, see a vet trained in exotic pet care as soon as possible. 

Q: What routine vet visits are needed for a ferret?

A: Plan on seeing an exotic pet vet twice a year with your ferret: once for an annual exam and a distemper booster, and once for a rabies vaccine. Young ferrets may also require more visits that initial year if any irregularities are noted. At the annual exam, we recommend a fecal assessment to check for bacterial upsets and parasites. If your ferret goes outdoors, we also strongly suggest heart-worm testing and prevention. Lastly, for ferrets three years and older, we highly recommend blood work to assess organ functions and signs of infections or other abnormalities.  


Ask the Vet is a regular feature on The Animal Store Blog. We have teamed up with the great veterinarians at Chicago Exotics Animal Hospital, who will answer your most pressing pet questions right here! Do you want to see your question answered on the blog? Leave a comment below or submit it on our contact form.
Photo credit: GaborfromHungary via Morguefile.com

 

Ask the Vet … about Hamsters

Russian Dwarf hamster

Russian Dwarf hamster*

You asked: What should I know about adopting a hamster?

Answer: Dwarf hamsters are solitary or social; Syrian hamsters are solitary 

Syrian hamsters and Chinese hamsters, unlike chinchillas, are solitary pets. Syrian hamsters include:

  • golden hamsters
  • teddy bear hamsters
  • black bear hamsters
  • panda bear hamsters
  • polar bear hamsters

Except for mating or raising young, these hamsters should not share a cage as they will fight and can cause serious injuries to each other.

Dwarf hamsters, on the other hand, can be kept in same sex pairs or small groups, but make sure you allow enough space if you have several hamsters in one enclosure. If you see any signs of aggression in these same sex pairs or small groups, be prepared to separate them permanently.

Hamsters are most active in the evening and nighttime. They may not appreciate being handled in the daytime hours and can possibly bite. Poor vision paired with the disorienting and scary experience of getting scooped up by an owner during the daytime (when previously asleep) can lead to the potential for a hamster bite. We recommend that you go slow with your new pet and allow him or her to adjust to you. Spending a moderate amount of time with your pet is key to having a friendly and well-adjusted hamster. 

Have more questions about hamsters? Leave it in a comment below.


Welcome to Ask the Vet, a regular feature on The Animal Store Blog. We have teamed up with the great veterinarians at Chicago Exotics Animal Hospital, who will answer your most pressing pet questions right here! Do you want to see your question answered on the blog? Leave a comment below or submit it on our contact form.
*Photo credit: Russian Dwarf hamster by cdrussorusso via a Creative Commons license.

Ask the Vet … about Bunnies!

Welcome to Ask the Vet, a new regular feature here on The Animal Store Blog. We have teamed up with the great veterinarians at Chicago Exotics Animal Hospital, who will answer your most pressing pet questions right here! Do you want to see your question answered on the blog? Leave a comment below or submit it here on our contact form.


This edition of Ask the Vet is about bunnies.

Leila w/Netherland Dwarf Bunny 6/10You asked: This is my first pet rabbit. What should I feed it?

Answer

Excellent question!  Depending on your rabbit’s age, they may require different foods. A good rule of thumb is that rabbits under six months of age should be fed alfalfa hay and alfalfa hay-based pellets, and offered leafy greens only sparingly in small amounts, if at all (to prevent soft stool; the high water content of greens can cause diarrhea). As a rabbit ages beyond six months, we recommend feeding timothy hay freely for life, as well as leafy greens twice daily (the quantity depends on the size of the rabbit). Pellets are not needed for adult rabbits. Some breeds, especially larger rabbit breeds, may need pellets for a little while past six months of age. If you’re unsure, ask the staff at The Animal Store, Chicago Exotics Animal Hospital, or your veterinarian. NoCarrot-icon

Do not offer your rabbit:

  • carrots, broccoli (or any gas causing vegetables)
  • greens high in calcium (kale, collard greens, and swiss chard for example)
  • fruit to your rabbit

Despite what you might have learned from Bugs Bunny, carrots and the types of fruits and vegetables mentioned above can cause gut upset, which could become a serious problem in your rabbit.


You had more questions about rabbits, so tune in for the next edition of Ask the Vet for more answers. Enter your email address to the left so you don’t miss a single post. Stop in any time and our expert staff at The Animal Store is happy to answer questions in person and help you find the supplies you need to keep your pet happy and healthy. See you soon!

Why We Don’t Sell Fire-Bellied Newts

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The Animal Store is no longer selling Fire-bellied Newts at this time. A fungal infection known as Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans has infiltrated the supply chain, and this fungus represents a significant threat to the entire native amphibian population of North America. We need to be responsible custodians. Until and unless we can be sure that the fungus has been halted, we won’t be selling Fire-bellied Newts.

photo credit: By Cliff from Arlington, Virginia, USA [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Wordless Wednesday #23: Richardson Ground Squirrel

 

Stacy y una ardilla de tierra de Richardson

Stacy and a Richardson ground squirrel

 

The Animal Store Loves Kids, Too

The Animal Store poster by Wilmette Park District

 

How do you like our new poster? This came to us by way of thank you from the Wilmette Park District Kindergarten Enrichment program, who came to visit The Animal Store not long ago. We’d like to say thank you right back to those awesome kids and their teachers. Our staff and animals thought you were pretty great, too.

Why The Animal Store Pet Club is Key

Pet Club Key Tag return photo

 

The Animal Store Pet Club is the key to lots of discounts on top of our regular low prices, plus special deals throughout the year for Pet Club members.

But that’s not the only reason to join. A customer lost a set of keys many months ago. Someone found the keys, dropped them in a mail box and they were returned to The Animal Store. We then contacted our very happy customer and were able to return the keys. Now that’s pretty sweet.

Here’s the scoop on the key advantages to joining The Animal Store Pet Club:

  • 10% discounts on merchandise
  • 10% discounts on fish and live plants
  • extra savings on high use items
  • extended warranties
  • special “Pet Club” promotions
  • low price guarantee

You Know You’re One of Us …

You know you’re one of us at The Animal Store if this video rings true to you. Let us know what you think!

Stick to Chocolate Easter Bunnies

EasterPoster2013Here at The Animal Store, we respect the rabbit. In fact, we love love rabbits. And we sell them … but not around Easter time. Bunnies are a cute and cuddly symbol of Easter and spring. They make wonderful pets for families that understand how to care for them and are ready for a 10-year commitment.

If you are interested in bringing a rabbit into your home as a pet, we would be happy to talk to you about it and answer your questions. In the meantime, here’s our interview on NBC Chicago that explains a little more about our Easter Amnesty policy. We are proud to support the Red Door Animal Shelter‘s efforts to get people to understand and respect the rabbit. Check out our interview on their blog, Behind the Red Door.
Vodpod videos no longer available.